La­gos Takes Fight against Do­mes­tic, Sex­ual Vi­o­lence to the Grass­roots

THISDAY - - BUSINES SWORLD | DEVELOPMENT - Abim­bola Akosile

To raise aware­ness and sen­si­tise res­i­dents on the dan­gers of do­mes­tic and gen­der-based vi­o­lence, child abuse, rape, the La­gos State Do­mes­tic and Sex­ual Vi­o­lence Re­sponse Team (DSVRT), has taken the cam­paign against do­mes­tic and gen­der-based vi­o­lence to the grass­roots, with an aware­ness walk held at the Epe Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Area of the state. The team lead, Dr. Keziah Awosika, gave talks dur­ing the walk, ed­u­cat­ing the peo­ple of Epe on the La­gos State Gov­ern­ment’s zero-tol­er­ance pol­icy for sex­ual and gen­der -based vi­o­lence. Awosika urged the para­mount ruler of Epe King­dom, Oba She­fiu Olatunji Ade­wale to warn par­ents to de­sist from send­ing chil­dren out to hawk var­i­ous items for them es­pe­cially dur­ing school hours, as this act is tan­ta­mount to child abuse and also pun­ish­able un­der La­gos State law.

In his re­sponse, the tra­di­tional ruler promised to set up a Task Force that would rid Epe community of the menace. He also as­sured the La­gos State Do­mes­tic and Sex­ual Vi­o­lence Re­sponse Team (DSVRT) of his con­tin­ued sup­port and co­op­er­a­tion in the fight against child abuse.

The Chair­man of Epe Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment, Mr. Ade­sanya Ade­doyin, who also par­tic­i­pated in the walk, com­mended the state gov­ern­ment for the aware­ness and promised to im­ple­ment the agenda of the present ad­min­is­tra­tion on do­mes­tic abuse and gen­der vi­o­lence at the lo­cal level.

The walk had two para­mount rulers of Epe, Oba She­fiu Olatunji Ade­wale (the Olu of Epe) and Oba Kamoru Ishola An­i­mashaun (The Oloja of Epe) par­tic­i­pat­ing and at­tracted over 300 par­tic­i­pants from all walks of life.

Among them were ar­ti­sans, teach­ers, mar­ket women, re­li­gious bod­ies, mem­bers of the Na­tional Youth Ser­vice Corps (NYSC), Non­govern­men­tal or­gan­i­sa­tions (NGOs), Na­tional Union of Road Trans­port Work­ers (NURTW) of­fi­cials, community health work­ers, and mem­bers of the Nige­rian Bar As­so­ci­a­tion.

The Walk took off from Oba Ade­wale’s palace on La­gos Road to Ma­rina road down to the Round-about and up to Ayetoro mar­ket with the tra­di­tional rulers par­tic­i­pat­ing. Another tra­di­tional ruler, Oba Ishola An­i­mashaun joined the walk, lead­ing from the mar­ket to Cele Bus-stop to his palace.

While ad­mon­ish­ing par­tic­i­pants and res­i­dents after the Walk, the co­or­di­na­tor of the La­gos State DSVRT, Mrs. Ti­tilola Vivour-Adeniyi said the state gov­ern­ment would not rest un­til in­ci­dents of sex­ual and gen­der based vi­o­lence are brought to zero.

‘”We will not rest un­til we erad­i­cate sex­ual and gen­der based vi­o­lence in La­gos State. We there­fore en­join all mem­bers of the community to see them­selves as man­dated re­porters. If you see some­thing, say it”, Vivour-Adeniyi said.

Com­mu­ni­ca­tion ma­te­ri­als to in­form the peo­ple of their rights and the pro­vi­sions un­der the law on vi­o­lence and where to get help in the event of an in­ci­dent were dis­trib­uted at the event.

: Marchers against gen­der vi­o­lence at the re­cent walk in Epe, La­gos

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